University of California-Riverside Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Melanie

I wish I had realized that going off to college does not mean escaping from life, it is just a transition to a new life. You can't run away from your problems, but instead, you have to face them and deal with them. Just because someone does badly in high school or even someone who does well, it does not mean they will do the same in college. While you have to live the same life, you can reinvent yourself. Forget all the stereotypes placed on you in high school and just be yourself. Do well in college for you and nobody else. There will no longer be someone forcing you to do your homework or calling your parents if you don't show up to class. It's time to grow up and become an adult. The most important piece of advice would be that college is the time to prove to the world and yourself that you are a capable adult, so act like it.

Cheng-Ting

Do whatever you want to do in college (and study of course). But if there is a basketball game that you want to attend, go of course! and maybe you might find yourself trying out for the team. You dont want "staying at the apartment alone and studying all the time" define your college years, you want to meet people and have adventures! But watch out for the groups of people that can change who you are, like the sororities and fraternities. I believe that there are fraternities that really help find who you are, but there are some that completely change you into one of them. Is that really who you want to be? I've met some people who aren't in those groups who are unique, kind, helpful and they can be that life long friend of yours. Don't just give into the popularity drug, it's completely bogus. Also go to events that interest you and find out what they are about because you never know what joys they can bring you. It might be cliche, but don't judge a book by its cover is the best advice that I can give you.

Daniel

Being home-schooled as a high school student, I believe that I was very prepared for making the transition to college from high school. For instance, I was already accustomed to studying on my own and dedicating a good portion of time to reading the subject material to prepare for tests and complete homework assingments. However, there are a few things that I was not prepared for such as the size of the college and the academic resources available to me as a student. The size was an issue because it was extremely easy for me to become lost and disoriented in such a massive and complex structure. I would advise myself to learn how to use a campus map and to know where to go to seek assistance if I end up getting lost anyway. In addition, I would express the importance of knowing where all of the learning tools and study resources are so that I would not fall behind in any of my classes becuase they proved to be extremely helpful to me and many friends of mine who chose utilize them.

Beheya

Go in as undeclared major. Don' t take the advisor's word for granted. Do my own research for the future. Do not depend on others; i.e. tutoring centre etc...to solve my academic problems. Stay focused academically social life is not a priority.

christina

Knowing what i know now after a year of being in college I would want to tell myself to focus more on my school work and be more dedicated to everything i did and not only the things that i really enjoyed doing. I would have also like to have told my seniior self to take more chances and risks and not take extracuricular activities as seriously and to simply enjoy them more. But i think most importantly i would have liked to tell myself that i don't have to know exactly what i want to do with my life while in high school but that I still have time to diacover who I really am.

Robin

If I were to go back in time and advice myself on college experience I would suggest to start studying my field of interest from the beginning. Although I was born in San Francisco an American citizen, I was raised in Italy. It was at my high school graduation that I decided to return to America alone to further my education. Although I knew I wanted to study Mechanical Engineering in California, I moved to Montana because it offered the security of family friends. I felt it would be easier to start a new life with a few connections, rather than transferring to a city void of any personal bond. However, I soon realized that transferring from one college to another in a different State was much more complicated than I thought. When I first arrived in Montana I had planned to remain there for one full academic year, but in reality I transferred to California only three years later. I don?t regret one second that I spent in Montana but I must admit that if I have started at The University of California when I arrived from Italy, I would have been able to complete my degree sooner.

Courtney

I would tell myself to actually take six classes to help increase my GPA, to study for my SAT's sooner and longer, visit more college campuses before applying to give myself a broader variety, and to apply for MORE scholarships.

Johnson

I would tell myself to not slack off, college is one of the most important times of a person's life, messing it up can make it or break it. Do not believe it is easy and attend class everyday!

Chezel

I would have talked to more peopl about the school and actually spent time at the campus getting to know the environment.

Jasmin

Pick a school that you feel comfortable in. Visit the schools of your choice and once you have the feeling you will know. Study something you have a passion for do not study something because you are good at it. Always keep an open mind and make friends with everyone. Get involved but remember that studies come first. Also, do not fret so much over money everything will work out.Lastly, be true to yourself and enjoy life.

Melinda

I would tell myself not to fall too easily into peer pressure and the "norm". Having strict parents, I was never allowed to go out and have the experiences other kids did. The only time I was allowed out was for ASBevents and volunteering. I built a strong passion for helping others, but I knew that this was not what the other students all did nor was this the "cool thing" to do. I then promised myself that when I went off to college, I would change myself and for once in my life have fun and let loose. This promise to myself was one I wish I hadn't made or kept for that matter. All the skills I learned during ASB and volunteering made it quite easy for me to make new friends when I came here, but my promise to myself led me to the wrong people Winter quarter. Regrettably, I followed the crowd and partied the night away ruining my GPA. I would tell myself that the life I had was perfectly fine and that I would be going somewhere in life and did not need to be reassured by people who were wasting their's.

Eric

Stay ahead of the game.

Rebecca

I wish I did not stress so much about college acceptance letters during senior year. Coming from an Asian family, there has been much pressure to get into the top schools. However, what most Asian parents don't realize is that top schools are not just schools their friends talk about such as UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford, etc. but any University that can provide the necessary degree and education the student is striving for his/her future. Honestly, people end up going somewhere for a reason and it depends on the person of how they make of it. If I can go back, I think I would have wanted to make more memories by not worrying so much and just having fun with my friends.

Patricia

I would tell myself to get involved right away and I would apply to like a million scholarships.

Valeria

If I could go back in time, and talk to myself as a high schol senior I would do it in a hearbeat. I would tell myself to not consume so much of my time in friendships and the goal of being "popular." I would tell myself to foucs on school, and not sell myself short by planning on simply attending a 2-year community college. I would tell myself to not give up everytime I hit a cross roads because once you cross it the grass truely is greener on the other side. I would tell myself to study harder for the SATS because its not just another test. To take those AP classes seriously and actually strive for a 3 not a 2 on the exam. I would tell myself to be more socially involve, to join ASB and AVID, to run for president or tresure and to do voulnter work on a saturday instead of party. I would defineitly tell myelf that high school is not the prime time of your life, and that if you prepare correctly heading into the real world will seem that much less scary and more exciting.

Winhan

The main thing i will give advice to all High School student is College is way better than High School also it is way harder than High School. Also i will tell them please ask three question themself. 1)question is " am i ready for college?". 2)" how much am i prepare for college?". The last question is that "Can i handle the stress that college can give me?" . If you can do all this i think you be fine in college.

Danika

High school does not prepare you for college. Classwork is much more intense than you could ever imagine. Essays, you'd best get used to writing 5-10 page papers in one weeks time. Read! Footnotes can only get you so far, and you must stand out above your classmates if you want to succeed. Everything is competitive: who gets the classes, who uses office hours, and where you will park. Get a planner! There are way too many deadlines to try to remember them all. Get involved! Even if it is just going to the social Thursdays at the campus resturant. You're going to need friends, peers, and lots of mentors to get you through this. Also, even though high school does not 'prepare' you, it can hinder you. Pay attention in your classes now so that when you get her, new on your feet, the 1st quarter/year will be more of a review rather than a mudslide of new new new! Time management is still so important! You need to find your balance between school and life. Lastly, SCHOLARSHIPS! I know you're discouraged from getting denied, but keep trying beacuse working through school is stressfull.

Jazmine

I think the first think I would tell myself is to think about what you will want in the long run. Do not consider what your family and friends think , consider your own desires before theirs . I would also advise myself to leave the TV at home and consentrate on books.

Rihana

Knowing what I know now about college, I would have two very important pieces of incite for myself. The first being this: the gym is your friend. There is no reason to be intimidated by it; the people who workout there are no more interested in you doing your regiment than you are in there?s. Go more often, at least once or twice during the week and every single weekend. It?s for your health firstly, but looking better is a major plus too. My second piece of advice to my eighteen-year-old self would be to stick to what you are good at. Throughout high school, excelling in classes like journalism, sociology, social justice, government, economics, and being a teacher?s assistant should have been enough for you to realize that could never be an engineer. You were never good at biology; sure you did well in chemistry, but only because Mr. Drage was a junior high teacher before then; and you knew taking physics was a big joke. You were not meant to work in a waste water treatment plant, but to help those in need directly. You're a social scientist. PS I Love You.

Alan

As a high school senior, I was in a constant state of worry about the future. I always knew exactly which career path I wanted to take, which was to become a doctor, but I was confused about how I would go about doing it. Now that I have successfully made the transition into an experienced college student, I would go back and tell myself that there is no need to worry or stress about the uncertain future. As long as I have a goal and the determination and motivation to achieve it, I will find a way to succeed no matter what adversities come across my path. Furthermore, I would advise myself to seek mentors and ask questions to see how they made the transition successfully. Thus, my main advice would be to take things as they come, one at a time. No matter how intimidating the future seems, joining one organization at a time, getting one "A" at a time, and making friends one at a time will lead to a successful and confident transition into college life and adulthood.

Ameerah

I would tell myself how easy it is to get caught up in the whole party scene. I would tell myself to not get so easily distracted because there are plenty of easy opportunities to slip up and they can and will have consequences that will take years to repair. I would also tell myself to visit my academic counselor and do not rely on my peers for academic advice. My counselor is better qualified to discuss my strengths and weaknesses not only about which classes to take, but also about what time to take them and what other classes to take them with so I will not feel overwhelmed when midterms and finals come around. I would tell myself to be strong no matter what because I will get through, even if some plans have to change. Lastly, I would remind myself that I am a good person who deserves respect not only from my roommate but also from my suitemates, and if any vicious rumors come my way to ignore them and hold my head up high because I know they are not true and my true friends will have my back.

Cecilia

Start applying for work study early. Don't hesitate to meet new people, everyone is new and nervous as well.

Brittney-Chanae

If I were granted the opportunity to do so, I would be sure to make a note of missed opportunities and mistakes and tell myself what to do in order to avoid making the same mistakes. I would tell myself to set strict goals from the start so that distractions can be avoided or handled appropriately. I would tell myself to seek tutoring at the first sign of struggle in a course because if I do not it will most importantly affect my g.p.a. and opportunity to attend a four-year university. I would also meet with a representative from the university I plan to attend in order to gain information and seek scholarships, volunteer work, internships, and job opportunities that I missed out on the first time. Overall, I would tell myself to be a more inquisitive person because it could lead to a better outcome not just for school, but in life.

Chihui

Make sure you study hard to get to the right college in order to receive the best benefits. Be prepared in for your first year of college with the right people. Make sure your first year in college never goes to a fail.

Brittney-Chanae

If I were granted the opportunity to do so, I would be sure to make a note of missed opportunities and mistakes and tell myself what to do in order to avoid making the same mistakes. I would tell myself to set strict goals from the start so that distractions can be avoided or handled appropriately. I would tell myself to seek tutoring at the first sign of struggle in a course because if I do not it will most importantly affect my g.p.a. and opportunity to attend a four-year university. I would also meet with a representative from the university I plan to attend in order to gain information and seek scholarships, volunteer work, internships, and job opportunities that I missed out on the first time. Overall, I would tell myself to be a more inquisitive person because it could lead to a better outcome not just for school, but in life.

Andrew

If I had the ability go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior with the knowledge I currently attain, I would encourage myself to work harder when I entered community college. I would have suggested that I complete all the General Education Requirements BEFORE picking major since they must be completed prior to transfer.

Julia

Dear Julia, Don?t worry about picking a major based on what your parents want you to do, but rather choose the major that includes the thing that you are naturally good at and are passionate about; no matter what you will become successful. Don?t work full time and go to school full time. You will be overwhelmed and your grades, work, and social life will suffer severely by spreading yourself to thin. Pick classes that aren?t too early in the morning because we both know you tend to sleep in. Talk to your teachers during their office hours, I know it seems scary but they are bored most of the time and are happy to see their students. Most importantly they provide you with good advice and when you need letters of recommendations for things like studying abroad, you have already established relationships with teachers to ask for such things. I know you?re shy and feel alone in this new environment but the social side of college offers some of the best experiences. Get out there , make new friends; you?re not the only one who?s scared. Just be present and enjoy this new experience.

Janet

The advice that I would give myself is to pay attention in all of my classes during my senior year. There is many concepts in high school that are gone over in some college courses and if I paid more attention is high school then it would be easier for me to do well in the college course. Another piece of advice that I would tell me is to learn how to balance out school, work and social life because it is a crucial step in doing well with other areas if the college life. Balancing can help with living physically/emotionally healthy, having good time management and being able to juggle school and a social life. These are the things I would tell myself in order to have a better more successful first year of college and be satisfied with my grades.

Kylie

Knowing what I know now, I would go back and tell my high school self to take the AP tests for all of the AP classes I took so that I could be ahead when I got to college. Then I would have more room to take fun classes that do not count for my major.

Jacqueline

I would make sure I sign up for dorming because I missed the deadline my first year. Since I didn't dorm, it was hard to meet new people, but this didn't matter to me at the time because I had a boyfriend who I spent most of my time with. It wasn't until my boyfriend and I broke up that I noticed I had no social life at my college. If I was put in this situation again, I would advise myself to join clubs; just like what I'm doing my second year. Joining a club is a different way of meeting new people of all ages with the same interests. Academically, I would advise myself to go to office hours! I learned this the hard way after I failed my first class. Also, I would tell myself to follow every professor's advise to read ahead and review old notes before coming to class. Having not done so in one of my core curriculum classes resulted in another fail. Because of my overall GPA last year, I'm not eligible for a grant next year, but I hope to bring up my GPA soon.

Maritza

Be prapared to really hit the books and be on top of your work. Be as organized as possible not only on top of when assignments are due, but also on your finicial aid and your emails. You will propbably feel overwhelmed, but just keep your head straight and take one thing at a time.

Flavia

if i knew then what i know now i would definitly have studied more in order to take more AP classes. Taking AP classes helps greatly checking off university general requirments.

Renee

I would discuss the importance of applying to colleges as early as possible. Most universities have rolling admissions. The sooner students apply the greater the chance of getting into their top choices. Also, I would tell myself that when you get to college you need to hit the ground running. The first two years of college are the foundation for your GPA and if you do not build a solid foundation it is hard to make improvements later. I would also let myself know it?s never too early to apply to internships, work experience is priceless. Being away from home really helps you develop faster into an adult. I would stress listening to my parents more because they really do know what they are talking about. When they ask you to cook dinner, they are trying to help you develop cooking skills, not punish you. College is a place where mistakes are made and a time for growth. Learn from your mistakes as well as look for new experiences. College has so much to offer from educational to social activities, its all covered in your tuition take advantage of it. Hit the gym, the freshmen 15 is a killer.

Sara

If you want to be in a competitive academic environemnt, then be competitive when you are in high school. Apply for scholarships, and volunteer so you can have a lot of things to put on your application. College admissions are getting more competitive, and its not difficult to go the extra mile to make yourself stand out. Visit many college campuses, and go out of the box in your search for the schools that may be right for you. Also, start searching for the right college early on, such as in your junior year, if you leave this important search until the last minute, then you could end up wasting your or your parents' money in a place where you are not happy. It's worth it to be aware of many different colleges, so that you have the most choices to choose from.

Samantha

First of all, no one should feel bad about going to a city/junior college straight out of high school and transferring to a four-year later, so don't. In addition to that, don't believe all of those horror stories about staying at a junior college for ten years, because that won't happen unless you let it. By the time you finish with your general education classes (and yes, you can do it in two years as well as get some undergrad classes for your major out of the way at the same time), you may realize that your first choice college isn't the right one for you anymore. In college, it's about YOUR priorities now, not your parents and not your friends, so you need to focus what they really are. Moving away from your friends and family to pursue what you want isn't a death sentence for your relationships (online networking has insured that). Moving away from your comfort-zone at home isn't as big of a risk as you think it is. New jobs, new friends and new experiences to learn from will come no matter where you are.

danielle

The biggest problem in college is the lazy task of procrastinating. Procrastination is the number one cause of failure in college. Whether its procrastinating in doing your homework, studying, or completing any other task, it surely doesn't not help to procrastinate in any way. Keep in mind that their are due dates for everything. The sooner you get a task done, the sooner you can play. There is always a time for everything. Make sure to have your responsiblities your first priority and then you will be able to have fun later. Managing your time well is also a tough task. Therefore, it may be easier to write down the tasks that need to be done and a respective time of when the task should be done. Remember this advice and the college life will be a lot easier to take a hold of.

Terri

Don't slack off and work hard. Find things to motivate yourself and think positive. Don't ever let people bring you down.

Lily

I would suggest to myself to take harder and more advanced classes, so college would not be such a challenge. At the same time, I would tell myself to work more and applied for more scholarships, so there would be less financial stress during college.

Stephanie

The only pieces of advice I would give myself are ones that were given to me by other experienced college students that I ignored. I would tell myself the two golden rules: never date someone in your dormitory hall and don't room with your best friend. Other than that, live it up, join as many clubs as your schedule allows, and pay attention in physics, because it gets exponentially harder as you go!

Gabriela

The best advice I have for parents and students about finding the right college is to visit them. Only when you are on campus and have experienced it for yourself will you really understand how you will fit in. Also spending a few days on campus as a part of a shadowing program can also see if you enjoy the class structures and professors.

Yozmine

I would say visit the school you intend on attending. Some schools appear good on paper but you will never know until you visit it. Riverside didn't seem like anything special at all, not until i payed it a visit. It wasn't until then I realised that this school was for me.

Kristina

Do your research. Many people do not know what to look for in a college. Location is a big deciding factor for many, but also consider the caliber of the instruction of prospective schools. Ask yourself whether you would prefer a research or an instruction university. Take the time to seek out professors or students at the schools in which you are interested. Once you choose a school, hit the ground running. Meet your advisor so that you can maintain a constant conversation about your degree. Meet and talk with your professors -- you may learn more in their office hours than in their classrooms. Take every opportunity that you can to participate in campus or community activities. The more involved you are with your education, the more likely you will be to apply the knowledge that you learn in the classroom outside of the classroom. One thing to keep in mind: college is a like a crucible -- you are presented with varying knowlege, opinions, and experiences, and they all meld together to form your adult perspective. It is your education and it is up to you to make the most of it.

Elizabeth

cost

Jemmarie

Do not base your decision solely on reputation or word-of-mouth, but research various colleges holistically and do not let other peoples prejudices alter your decision; for your going to be the one attending that school.

Samantha

To find the college that is right for you, I would suggest taking alot of campus tours of the colleges you are intersted in attending and also taking tours of on campus housing just in case you decide to live on campus rather than commute. For parents I suggest speaking with financial aid counselors so that you know how much the schooling is going to cost and if you need any help the advisors can assist you in getting the help you need to get your child through school. And to make the most out of your college experience I would suggest setting limitations for yourself so that you do not let yourself get off track or become distracted. In college it is very easy to get distracted so make sure that you take care of your school work first and after that go out and have fun, experience college, it's the best years of your life.

Jacqueline

Find a college that has a strong program for what you plan to study and make sure it is right for you.

Marissa

To both the student and the parent I would encourage them to discover a college that best fits the needs and likes of the student. Since the student is the one attending college they should be able to take more of the responsibility that follow with being a college student, so to the parents I know it maybe hard to let your student go but it is essential in order for the student to fully grow, although you can still play an active role in your students life without being there 24/7. Also to the student, remember to choose a major that you have an interest and liking in, choose a major that will make you happy and proud of. This is the student's time to discover new and interesting qualities about themselves and the world that surrounds them, it maybe scary to step out in the big world of college but like all things in life it takes time, courage, and patience. Above all the most important advice I can give to the student is that going to every class is necessary and worth the time, its the basis of college so try not to skip class.

Mathew

Go to a college with a well known department for what you want to do, then get to know the faculty. Some of the best scholars I know are friends with their professors. It helps create a sort of intellectual trust which makes people strive harder, like we're all on the same team. Also, eat up every research opportunity you get, it's like growing wings.

mai

The school you attend will help determine the jobs that will be available to you, who your friends will be, even where you?ll live and work after college. To begin your quest for the right college, request for brochures and dates of information sessions of schools you may want to attend. The only way to rule a school out is to get information on it. You should factor in location, faculty credentials, major/course offerings, and most importantly your own aspirations. Allow yourself to be selfish while making a decision that will affect you during and beyond the next four years. Part of your college experience includes being engaged in the learning process, but also being able to break out of your comfort zone by getting involved with fellow students, faculty and staff beyond the classroom walls. Make the most of your college experience by surrounding yourself with a support system of good friends. Being involved in co-curricular activities outside the classroom will enrich your college experience by allowing you to engage with fellow students to talk about academics, career goals, common life, experiences, challenges, differences, and commonalities. Sign up for clubs and activities that seem potentially interesting.

Yiqiao

Attending college is not just to abtain a diploma. It is more about learning, discover, and self grown. Having that in mind, it is easier to decided what kind of enviroment do you want to be in order to achieve your goal. Write a list of what kind of life you are looking for in the future, is it in a bussiness man in a crowdy city who have many social event in his/her daily life? or is it a enviromentalist who live in suburb and occasionally travel from place to place? Those are the difference that may contrubute to your decision in choosing a college. When choosing a college, also look in to its learning style. Some schools have big class and require a lot of independent study , others have small class with close attendtion from your professors. different study enviroment will suit for different study habit. To make the best out of college experience, one should feel free to explore all resources provided by the school, such as the clubs, and the learning assistants. one thing that should always keep in mind is your study is the most crucial and should always be the priority .

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